Review: Ubuntu 7.10


Curious to know about Gutsy Gibbon? A list of improvements of Ubuntu 7.10 is already available in its official website. So, I am not going to duplicate those stuff and will try to tell you about my personal experience with Gutsy Gibbon.

I gave the new Ubuntu a try. As usual, I installed it by using my VirtualBox virtual machine not only because I do not have enough space on my Dell Latitude D820 laptop (Intel Core 2 T5600, 1GB RAM) but also because this reveals the interoperability of Ubuntu and VirtualBox. I think it is important to be able to easily install Ubuntu on virtual machines. Indeed, many people would need to run their Ubuntu along with another OS. In my case, I have to keep Win XP on my laptop simply because this is the default OS of my University and most of specialized applications are available and supported only for XP. As I said, I am already running out of space and hence I used my 4GB USB flash to store the virtual hard drive of my virtual computer.

I didn’t have any difficulty downloading the iso file as there were many mirror sites and I selected a site just a couple of hundred meters away from my apartment (actually the download was from my university’s server). The download was completed with the maximum possible bit rate of my ADSL connection and there was my Ubuntu iso file ready to be mounted. After mounting the iso file as CD drive of the virtual disk, making a hard rive of 3.8GB, and allocating 512MB RAM, I booted my virtual machined and it smoothly booted up. The initializing part took a few minutes (more than 7.04) and live session started. The visual appearance was clearly better (than 7.04) from the beginning. I noticed a few of changes at the first instance: a Bluetooth Analyzer in accessories, Pidgin internet messenger in internet, and OpenOffice.org Drawing in Graphic. Some new places are also added (Pictures, Videos, Music, and Documents). Having a Calculator in accessories might seem not much of improvement to many people but to me it is a great blessing as I was missing my calculator a lot.

Installing took a damn long time (about 70 minutes) which I do not consider unusual as I was using my USB flash. But, I was curious to know how much space has been occupied by the virtual hard drive after completion of the installation. It was 2.3 GB. After the desktop appeared it took a few minutes until the desktop was fully initialized and computer was responding. I had no eye-candy visual effects because my hardware was not detected to be supportive of that. Trying it in System>Preferences>Appearance did not help and I could not get neither “Normal” nor “Extra” visual effects meaning that the eye-candy stuff probably should be expected to work only if you have got a high-end machine.

Then I checked the internet which was available right away and visited youtube. The flash plugin was missing but the missing plugin was detected and two options (including Gnash flash player) were automatically suggested. Trying the first option which was Adobe Flash Player I got an error message complaining that “could not download all repository indexes” probably because repository servers were not available or something. But then I still could continue downloading and installing which caused my screen to freeze. After getting rid of the frozen screen I tried again and could succeed in installing the plugin and youtube started to work.

Trying to play an mp3 file returned the expected error message but the player (Totem) could locate the necessary plugins for playing mp3 files and offered to install it (I do not need to play mp3 files and so skip it).

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It seemed to me that the memory is managed better than in 7.04 (maybe just a feeling) and I had less difficulty running the applications. Login window could be accessed from System>Administration>Login Window where the local administrator (root) login can be activated (not recommended). Installation of Firefox extensions was readily possible through Add/Remove and the references to repository packages seemed to have renewed. Although due to lack of enough resources I missed many graphical features of this Gitsy Gibbon, I still would prefer it to the previous version though I am using it through VirtualBox. This is becasue as I said before, the memory management seems to have improved or it is the effect of bug fixes that make my application flow smoother. Because of those new places (Music, Picture, Video, Documents) look and feel of this new version is even closer to what expected by former Windows users.

I will keep using it in place of my Feisty.

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